The Emerging Field of Personal Relationships

The Emerging Field of Personal Relationships

The Emerging Field of Personal Relationships

The Emerging Field of Personal Relationships

Excerpt

This book is the result of the first International Conference on Personal Relationships held in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1982. The conference itself was a significant event in publicly bringing together major figures whose work was starting to define the new area of personal relationships. We would like to think also, that the conference played an important part in helping to formally establish personal relationships as a distinctive and vital area in its own right.

Certainly before and since that time, there has been a growing wealth of publications attesting to the emergence and health of this new science, but the Madison conference had a special contribution to make through its clear public statement to colleagues in the social sciences: that this is a viable new field.

While this book came out of the Madison conference, it is not merely "proceedings" of the conference: instead, it represents selected highlights of that conference. It is different, too, in that the chapters here are based on contributions to the conference rather than simply being printed versions of the spoken papers given. Thus the various chapters have been rewritten and edited accordingly. In some cases, the conference presentation was used just as a starting point so that the chapter finally presented here is very different from the paper given at the conference. The overall aim was to avoid a transcript and to produce a properly constituted volume.

There are two somewhat different kinds of contributions. Some chapters are based on the more extensive papers from invited speakers; whereas others derive from the rather briefer competitive paper sessions. Thus, there is a combination of broader, more discursive coverage of the field as in the chapters by Kelley, Argyle, Ginsburg, Hinde, Stroebe, Berscheid, Huston, and Harvey, and more specific presentation of important recent research in the chapters by McCarthy . . .

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